The next few weeks will be crucial in deciding how we want to move forward as a nation to prevent another tragedy like this from unfolding again. Will our leaders divorce themselves from the cash provided to them by special interest groups in order to effectuate meaningful change? Or will we continue on business as usual?
“As a nation we must ask: When in God’s name will we stand up to the gun lobby?” asked President Biden hours after a gunman murdered 19 elementary school students and two teachers last week.

A valid question in a nation where a mega-billion-dollar gun industry has left the United States a society with more guns than people. The next few weeks will be crucial in deciding how we want to move forward as a nation. Will our elected leaders divorce themselves from the cash of the gun lobby? Or will we continue along on business as usual?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, we have millionaires protesting our stunningly unequal global status quo at the annual Davos World Economic Forum. This week’s issue has that story, plus a debunking of the myth of the millionaire tax exodus and plenty more.

And if you’re looking for a Memorial Day weekend read that can serve as an appetizer to our upcoming annual Executive Excess CEO pay report, check out our Sarah Anderson in the Washington Post.

Chuck Collins and Rebekah Entralgo,
for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Protesting Davos, Millionaires Call Out Inequality
The World Economic Forum annually draws our globe’s wealthiest to a ritzy compound high up in the Alps, where they earnestly ponder the issues they feel matter most. But this year’s forum had something different: millionaires who came to protest, not to ponder, their outrage fueled by a new Oxfam report that powerfully illustrates the stark inequality of the pandemic years.

Some 150 proud class traitors signed letters delivered to the World Economic Forum headquarters in Switzerland and attended demonstrations on outskirts of Davos, imploring the powers-that-be to commit themselves to working for a fairer tomorrow. As German millionaire Marlene Engelhorn, pictured here with fellow protester Phil White, put it: "As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of wealth my whole life, I know how skewed our economy is and I cannot continue to sit back and wait for someone, somewhere, to do something.” co-editor Chuck Collins has more. 
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This Billionaire Slaps Without Ever Lifting a Finger
What do rich people do when critics get under their skin? They “SLAPP” them down. And few rich do more SLAPP-ing — file “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” — than Kelcy Warren, the founder of the pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners. This Dallas billionaire has been waging a five-year SLAPP against climate activists who tried to block the Dakota Access Pipeline. Then, earlier this year, he filed a SLAPP after the Democrat opposing Texas governor Greg Abbott’s third-term bid, Beto O’Rourke, had blasted Warren’s $1-million campaign contribution to Abbott last spring as “pretty close to a bribe.” Just before that contribution, Warren’s pipeline company had scored a $2.4-billion profit off a storm that had left hundreds of Texans dead. Warren’s SLAPP accuses O’Rourke of “exposing him” to public hatred and contempt. SLAPP-happy billionaires are filing their lawsuits purely to harass, charges Evan Mascagni of the anti-SLAPP Public Participation Project. Defenses against their suits can cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Exposing the Myth of the ‘Roving Billionaire’
This year, voters in the commonwealth of Massachusetts will have the opportunity to vote on a ballot initiative that would levy a 4 percent surtax on all individuals with annual incomes of $1 million or more. This Fair Share Amendment — or “Millionaire’s Tax,” as it’s commonly known — is now sporting approval ratings over 70 percent. But that popularity hasn’t stopped the amendment’s detractors from spreading the myth that higher tax rates on millionaires will only encourage a mass exodus of high-income earners, shrinking the tax base and hurting the local economy. Research says otherwise. Who is actually exiting high-tax states? Low- and middle-income workers priced out by the housing affordability crisis. We have more from our ace researcher, Omar Ocampo.
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In the Swiss Shadows, Central Bankers Go Rogue
Our billionaire class and those dedicated to its care and feeding were swarming all over the Davos World Economic Forum last week, doing their Alpine best to show how much and how sincerely they care about the challenges that face humanity. But that best never seems to get around to confronting the continuing concentration of the world’s income and wealth. You have to trust us, exhort the Davos elites, we care. Let’s trim the rich down to democratic dimensions, counter protesting egalitarians. At this year’s Davos, those “tax the rich” egalitarians found themselves with a totally unexpected new ally: the high command of the world’s central bankers!’s Sam Pizzigati has more.
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What's on 

Sonali Kolhatkar, Police Violence Is Enabled by Massive Spending. The Texan community of Uvalde spends 40 perent of its municipal budget on the police. But bloated police budgets, as we learned after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, do not leave their communities safe.

Elsewhere on the Web

Robert Reich, America’s billionaire class is funding anti-democratic forces, Guardian. Gross inequalities of income and wealth fuel gross inequalities of political power that, in turn, lead to strongmen who destroy both democracy and freedom.

Stan Choe, CEO pay rose 17% in 2021 as profits soared; workers trailed, Washington Post. The typical compensation package for chief executives who run S&P 500 companies soared nearly quadruple the 4.4 percent increase in wages and benefits that private-sector workers netted.

Andrew Anthony, ‘The haves and have-yachts’: on the trail of London’s super-rich, Guardian. Sociologist Caroline Knowles takes a walk across the economic and class divide to discover how extreme wealth is reshaping our streets.

Paul Krugman, The Perils of Plutocratic Pettiness, New York Times. Nothing says “visionary titan of industry” like sending poop emojis.

Ben Montgomery, Dozens of billionaires back Gov. Ron DeSantis, Axios Tampa Bay. How plutocracy grooms national leaders: Over two dozen billionaires from 15 states have given the Florida governor six-digit contributions.
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